Kylie Minogue Performs At amfAR Gala Hong Kong

first_imgThe fourth annual amfAR Gala Hong Kong took place last month.Kylie Minogue Performs At amfAR Hong Kong GalaCredit/Copyright: Clint SpauldingMichelle Yeoh, Liam Hemsworth, Alessandra Ambrosio, Shanina Shaik, Kylie Minogue, Tove Lo, Siwon, and Jeff Koons were among those who gathered at the fourth annual amfAR Gala Hong Kong at Shaw Studios to honor world-renowned artist KAWS and philanthropist Cathy Lee for their commitment to the fight against AIDS.Pansy Ho, a leading supporter of the gala since its inception in 2015 and an influential figure in the Hong Kong and international business community, served as Honorary Chair of this year’s event. The event, presented by AMTD Group and AMTD Foundation, raised nearly $3 million for amfAR’s life-saving AIDS research programs. AMTD Group’s Chairman and CEO Calvin Choi served as a Co-Chair of the event. American Express, Lorraine Schwartz Fine Jewellery, MGM China Holdings Limited, and Champagne Perrier-Jouët were Signature Sponsors.Other guests in attendance included Woo-Sung Jung, Lorraine Schwartz, Ofira Sandberg, Achille Boroli, Guy Bradley, Wong Hong, Susanna Lee, Wu Chun, Brian Li, Paulo and Sonia Cheng, Stanley and Jacqueline Sun, Alan and Michelle Cheng-Chan, James and Jane Louey, Winnie Chiu, Veronica Chou, Claudine Ying, Victoria Tang-Owen, Edward Tang, Anna Hu, Poyd, Natasha Lau, Bryan Yambao, Susie Lau, Harris Chan, Francis Cheng, Gary Tigges, and Rosamund Kwan.amfAR ambassador Michelle Yeoh opened the evening by welcoming guests and introducing amfAR CEO Kevin Robert Frost, who thanked event sponsors and spoke about amfAR’s TREAT Asia program and the organization’s Countdown to a Cure initiative, which is dedicated to developing the scientific basis of a cure by 2020.Liam Hemsworth presented the amfAR Award of Courage to Cathy Lee. He thanked her for the time, energy, and resources she has devoted to children affected by HIV/AIDS in mainland China, “combatting stigma and bringing them the promise of a brighter future.” Cathy Lee spoke about her work with AIDS orphans in rural Chinese villages, and remarked that AIDS is “still clouded with ignorance and misunderstanding.” In a powerful example, she introduced a group of people onstage who currently live with the “appalling prejudice and stigma attached to AIDS” every day. Lee advocated for research and understanding as the most effective means to ending the epidemic.Simon de Pury presented the amfAR Award of Courage to KAWS, remarking on his “versatility as an artist, as well as his underlying wit, irreverence, and affection for our times.” He thanked KAWS for being “a generous supporter of amfAR and the fight against AIDS,” as his art donations have raised funds for lifesaving research through amfAR’s live auctions. KAWS said he was honored to be a part of a cause that is making a positive difference.The evening also featured spectacular live performances. Grammy Award-nominated singer and songwriter Tove Lo had the crowd dancing with her global hit singles “Talking Bodies” and “Habits.” At the end of the evening, Liam Hemsworth introduced Grammy-winning pop sensation and long-time amfAR supporter Kylie Minogue, who sang chart-topping classics such as “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” and new hits such as “Dancing,” that had the audience on their feet.Guests enjoyed bidding on exclusive items during the live auction, conducted by Simon de Pury and Shally Lin. Highlights included:• CHUM, an original painting by event honoree KAWS, sold in the live auction for $500,000. • Forty editions of a Christopher Makos photograph of Andy Warhol at the Great Wall of China sold for $5,000 each, raising a total of $200,000.• A portfolio of ten Andy Warhol lithographs, signed by the artist and Mick Jagger, sold for $70,000.• Auctioneer Simon de Pury gave a toast to Champagne Perrier-Jouët prior to starting the bidding on a trip for two to Paris and Epernay, featuring an exclusive private tour and champagne tasting at Maison Perrier-Jouët which sold for $60,000.• A pair of stunning Lorraine Schwartz diamond angel wing earrings, presented by Alessandra Ambrosio and Shanina Shaik sold for $90,000.• Three Dreams, a large-scale mixed-media work on canvas by American contemporary artist Brittney Palmer, sold for $38,000.A once in a lifetime European travel experience sold for $50,000. The package includes tickets to both the amfAR Gala Milano and Prince Albert II of Monaco’s Gala in Monte Carlo, luxury accommodations, and a three-day stay in Piedmont, Italy for a truffle and wine experience featuring Boroli Barolo wine.Event Co-Chairs included Achille Boroli, Guy Bradley, Frank Cancelloni, Winnie Chiu, Calvin Choi, Milutin Gatsby, Wong Hong, Jeff Koons, Emily Lam-Ho, Susanna Lee, Jim Murren, Emmanuel Perrotin, Dee Poon, Lorraine Schwartz, Victoria Tang-Owen, Chris Owen, Michelle Yeoh, and Yvette Yung.The Upper House−Swire Hotels was the event’s Hospitality Partner. Delta Air Lines is the Official Airline of amfAR. amfAR Gala Hong Kong is produced by Andrew Boose/AAB Productions and Josh Wood/Josh Wood Productions.last_img read more

A look at Facebooks changes over the years in what you see

first_imgFacebook is once again tweaking what you see to focus more on personal connections and take the spotlight off brands and news articles.Facebook says it will highlight posts you are most likely to engage with and make time spent on social media more “meaningful.” That means cutting back on items that Facebook users tend to passively consume, including video.To try to keep you glued to Facebook, it regularly updates the formula that decides what posts you see. With the latest update, the company says it’s focusing on what Facebook is for — connecting with people you know.Here’s a look at some of the ways the company has changed the posts appearing in users’ customized news feeds, which launched in 2006, as well as some of the factors it uses in deciding what makes up those feeds.___MAKING FACEBOOK “MEANINGFUL”Last June, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook would tweak its formulas to try to boost membership in “meaningful” groups. Whenever someone spends at least 30 minutes a week in a group, Facebook classifies it as “meaningful.” The company estimates that 130 million of its users are in such groups. It wants to increase that to more than a billion by 2022.___DOWN WITH CLICKBAIT?Facebook tweaked its news feed in 2014 to clamp down on “clickbait,” posts with grabby headlines like “you won’t believe what happened next” yet ultimately disappoint.More clicks mean the posts would move higher in people’s news feeds, even if people don’t really want to see them. How does Facebook decide what’s clickbait? For one, it knows how much time you spend reading an article. A quick click generally means you’re not really interested in the post that was shared.Facebook’s push worked. You’re much less likely to see clickbait these days.___YOUR PERSONAL “NEWSPAPER”In 2013, Zuckerberg said he wanted the news feed to look more like a digital newspaper, filled with information tailored to each user. The company gave you more ways to decide what you want or don’t want to see.Later, the company expanded these tools to let you choose the friends and brands whose posts you want to see first. That means a news hound can choose to highlight news articles, for instance. You can also unfollow a specific friend’s posts, while still staying connected on Facebook; you can decide to follow that person again later.___ADS ARE SEPARATEThe changes won’t affect how often you see advertisements, or as Facebook calls them, “sponsored posts.”However, you can tell Facebook not to show a particular ad again, and Facebook will stop showing you that and will show something else instead. Over time, Facebook will tailor the ads it shows you based on such feedback.___DATA RULESIt’s in Facebook’s best interest to show its more than 1 billion daily users stuff that will keep them interested — and keep them coming back. To that end, the company says it surveys tens of thousands of users each day to get a more complete picture of what people want to see.last_img read more

AltaGas selling noncore assets in Canada and the US for 560 million

first_imgCALGARY – AltaGas Ltd. says it has signed deals to sell about $560 million worth of natural gas midstream assets and power generating assets to two buyers.Birch Hill Equity Partners Management Inc. has agreed to pay $165 million for a group of smaller scale gas midstream and power assets in Canada, as well as its commercial and industrial customer portfolio in Canada.The transaction also includes the 43.7 million shares of Tidewater Midstream and Infrastructure Inc., which AltaGas holds.In a second transaction, AltaGas says it will sell its San Joaquin power assets in California to a subsidiary of Avenue Capital for roughly $400 million.The assets include the Tracy, Hanford and Henrietta plants totalling 523 megawatts of generating capacity.AltaGas says the proceeds from the sales will be used to repay debt related to its acquisition of Washington, D.C.-based energy utility company WGL Holdings, Inc., which closed in July.Companies in this story: (TSX:ALA)last_img read more

Nearly all states use drones for range of work

SALT LAKE CITY — In Utah, drones are hovering near avalanches to watch roaring snow. In North Carolina, they’re searching for the nests of endangered birds. In Kansas, they could soon be identifying sick cows through heat signatures.Public transportation agencies are using drones in nearly every state, according to a survey obtained by The Associated Press ahead of its release Monday. The report from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials shows a sharp increase in their use over the last few years, reflecting the rapid adoption of the technology by governments as well as hobbyists.In 2016, the non-profit group found no state transportation agency was using drones on a daily basis. Now, 36 states have certified drone pilots on staff. When the survey was done this month, all but one state was using drones in some way. Since then, the lone holdout — Rhode Island — has purchased a drone, said Tony Dorsey, a spokesman for the group.The small, unmanned aircraft are often used for prosaic tasks, like inspecting bridges and roads. With sophisticated cameras and thermal technology, they can detect tiny cracks and identify potential potholes before they’re visible to the human eye.Drones have caused their share of headaches for officials over the years as personal devices forced the grounding of planes at airports or those fighting wildfires.But they also can be useful for work that’s dangerous for people. In Utah, drones record from the air as state workers set off planned avalanches, allowing them to watch the slides close up in real time, said Jared Esselman, director of aeronautics at the state Department of Transportation.Drones also can measure snow and other elements of the state’s rugged terrain to keep them from blocking roads or other infrastructure.“We can predict not only snow slides, but mudslides and water runoff as the snow melts,” Esselman said. “Drones are a perfect tool for any job that is dangerous or dirty.”Utah is getting 40 new drones to take photos at traffic wrecks for the investigation.In North Carolina, drones are finding the nests of endangered species like the red-cockaded woodpecker, said Basil Yap, unmanned aerial systems program manager at the state’s transportation department.People used to fan out in helicopters or all-terrain vehicles to check for evidence of the protected birds before building new projects, but the drones can do the job quicker with less disruption, Yap said.They’re also used to check for protected bats nesting under bridges and to spray herbicide on invasive plants near shorelines.North Carolina is one of three states working with the Federal Aviation Administration to test drones beyond the operator’s line of sight, at night and over people. The FAA doesn’t usually allow those uses without a special waiver.Also part of the program is Kansas, where workers are using drones to create sophisticated farming programs and monitor cattle heat signatures to prevent any illnesses from spreading.A number of states are beginning to explore how to regulate a flood of private drone traffic expected in the future. In Ohio, the state is working on an air-traffic control system called SkyVision, which would allow drones to detect and avoid other aircraft in flight.Lindsay Whitehurst, The Associated Press read more

UN appeals urgently for food for Burundi where number of hungry has

“We are doing everything possible to respond to heightened food needs over the last couple of months, but we simply do not have enough resources to tackle the full magnitude of this crisis,” said Mustapha Darboe, WFP’s Country Director in Burundi. “Although we have received major donations from the US Government, and the European Commission, further contributions from other donors are urgently required. The bottom line is that the number of hungry people has doubled and we don’t have enough food.”Donations received so far can provide assistance for four more weeks, WPF said, meaning immediate pledges of 16,000 tons of cereals, pulses and vegetable oil are urgently needed to feed 1.2 million vulnerable people until the end of June. The required food aid is valued at $9 million.Noting that the number of people estimated to be in need of relief food during the first six months of this year has doubled in comparison with the same period in 2002, a recent government and UN inter-agency Food and Crop Yields Assessment report also found a decline in the nutritional situation of the population, with a marked increase in the number of children admitted to therapeutic feeding centres in Ruyigi, Ngozi and Kayanza provinces.Late rains in October and an early end to rains in January have led to significantly reduced harvests throughout the country. Insecurity is further exacerbating the situation, leading to the displacement of people with loss of life and income, particularly in eastern and southern Burundi, the report said.Although a peace agreement was signed with the Government and rebel forces in December, the recent resumption of serious fighting has greatly compromised the provision of humanitarian assistance to drought-affected populations, while displacing more people also in need of aid. During the first half of February, at least 54,000 people were unable to receive relief food due to insecurity. read more

Liberia disarmament to recommence in midApril UN announces

Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Special Representative Jacques Paul Klein and Chairman C. Gyude Bryant presented the date at a press briefing in Monrovia. The process originally began on 7 December but was suspended one week later to allow time for better organization.“Disarmament has been a cry of all our people,” said Chairman Bryant. “Everybody wants disarmament to begin and we are about to do that,” he added, noting that the effort will be carried out on a “sequential basis” beginning in Gbargna and moving through Buchanan, Tubmanburg and other areas later this month.Special Representative Klein said that essential conditions to restart the effort had been met: adequate sensitization of combatants, adequate Force deployment, and construction of cantonment sites.He urged the factions to submit comprehensive lists of their fighters, locations and weapons, calling this information “vital to support implementation of the programme.”The disarmament drive, he emphasized, is “the essential prerequisite for lasting peace and stability” in Liberia. During the DDRR process, combatants will report to designated pick-up points with all their weapons and ammunition. They will then be brought to disarmament sites and, after laying down their arms, will be transported to cantonment areas for demobilization. There, former fighters will receive photo IDs, medical screening, treatment and food, as well as orientation programmes. After a minimum seven-day stay, the ex-soldiers will be discharged from the cantonment site and provided with $150 and transport assistance to support their return to their communities of choice. After three months, they will get another $150 to help them start a new life. By then, they should be participating in specific reintegration schemes.Liberian children who were forced into fighting will receive the same level of assistance as well as additional care designed to meet their special needs. read more

Have you seen Besart Gardaí appeal for information on missing 16yearold

first_img Short URL Mar 24th 2019, 4:56 PM Share18 Tweet Email Besart Vladi GARDAÍ ARE SEEKING the public’s assistance in tracing the whereabouts of a 16-year-old missing from Co Wicklow. Besart Vladi was last seen at Bray Dart Station at 2pm yesterday. He is described as being 167cm in height, with brown eyes and brown hair. When last seen he was wearing white and blue runners, a green zip up top with black stripes and green trousers. Anyone who has seen Besart or who can assist in locating him is asked to contact Wicklow Garda Station on 0404 60140, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111, or any garda station.  By Hayley Halpin Besart Vladi Image: Garda Press Officecenter_img Image: Garda Press Office Have you seen Besart? Gardaí appeal for information on missing 16-year-old Besart Vladi was last seen at Bray Dart Station at 2pm yesterday. 15,565 Views Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Sunday 24 Mar 2019, 4:56 PM 5 Comments last_img read more

Toure Yaya thinks Paul Pogba is very similar to him

Toure Yaya thinks Paul Pogba is very similar to him

first_imgDuring an interview with Sky Sports, Toure Yaya praised Paul Pogba and explained why Jose Mourinho misused him at Manchester United.The Ole Gunnar Solskjaer effect on Paul Pogba was explained earlier on Monday by Toure Yaya, there is an undeniable improvement that the French midfielder had since Jose Mourinho left the club and it’s mostly related to the urge that Paul has to impress his manager.Some people may think that the French player didn’t deliver the results expected from him because he had a grudge against the Portuguese manager, but Toure doesn’t think that’s the case.In fact, Yaya is convinced that Pogba tried to play his best football but the problems lied in Jose Mourinho’s lack of understanding he had of the player. In a way, the Frenchman was going through a very similar problem that Toure Yaya went through with Pep Guardiola and he feels very identified with the way things developed in the last few months.It wasn’t until the Ivorian player moved from Barcelona to Manchester City when he started showing his true self as a versatile midfielder who couldn’t only defend, but also had some very impressive stats as an attacking midfielder.Paul Pogba suffered that same problem, as Jose Mourinho always regarded him as a player who was very similar to the likes of N’Golo Kante, Blaise Matuidi or Fernandinho.Paul Pogba has more belief in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer now and wants to “feel the love” from his manager, Yaya Toure has said.— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) January 14, 2019It’s almost as if Jose Mourinho completely forgot to watch Pogba during his time at Juventus, which was the place where he proved the world what he was capable of.With the Italian giants, Paul delivered outstanding performances every single week as an all-terrain midfielder who had the ability to be omnipresent all over the pitch and never gave up his attacking nature.During the match against Tottenham, there was actually a moment in the second half when Pogba didn’t like that the Manchester United left-back failed to go back to his position when the Red Devils lost a ball and he made an impressive 50-yard run just to cover the whole that his teammate left open.Right after that play, we could see Pogba arguing with a player who was out of frame but he never gave up on his intention to help out the squad on defense.Jose Mourinho, Lionel MessiMourinho: “Lionel Messi made me a better coach” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Jose Mourinho believes the experience of going up against Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi at Real Madrid made him a greater coach.During his time with Jose Mourinho, Paul Pogba never gave up that defensive nature but the manager did limit him to a certain place on the pitch in the most important matches.For Toure Yaya, Pogba’s awakening has a lot more to do with that newly acquired freedom than proving a point to the Portuguese manager.Yaya Toure: “He (Pogba)can deliver like he has done in the past at Juventus. He can shoot from far, he can pass – it’s what the fans want and it’s what the club has paid for this kind of player. What he has to do now is to continue to believe in himself.” #mufc [Sky]— United Xtra (@utdxtra) January 14, 2019Perhaps Yaya Toure is one of the very few players who completely understand what Paul Pogba was going through, as he was one of the most affected professionals who needed to prove themselves repeatedly in order to be fully understood by their manager.Now that life seems to be smiling back at him, Pogba is getting a new chance to give the fans what they have been demanding from him all this time.“A player like me, I just want to give more, produce more, and I like the challenge,” said Toure on Sky Sports.“Sometimes it has been very difficult because to be able to deliver your best qualities, you can’t say to Pogba to be like N’Golo Kante or Blaise Matuidi, it is impossible.”“But what he has delivered in the past at Juventus… he can shoot from far, dribble, give passes like he did this weekend against Tottenham. It’s what the fans want and what the club has paid for in this type of player.”Just make sure it continues. He has to now continue to believe in himself. Criticism is going to come in all day long, but he’s a professional man, and you have to accept it and continue to work hard,” he added.What do you think is the most striking similarity between Paul Pogba and Yaya Toure’s style of play? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.last_img read more

Battle Ground accident blamed on deer

first_imgA wayward deer was blamed for causing a Battle Ground accident Sunday morning.The Washington State Patrol said Denise L. Still was southbound on state Highway 503 just north of Battle Ground when a vehicle on her left moved into her lane to avoid a deer. That caused Still to swerve her 2008 Lincoln MKX to the right and hit a guardrail, the patrol said. The name of the other driver was not available.A report indicated Still was taken to Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center, but she was not listed as a patient there Sunday night.last_img read more

Boil water notice issued in Las Olas Isles after water main break

Boil water notice issued in Las Olas Isles after water main break

first_imgFORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) – A water main break in a Fort Lauderdale neighborhood has led officials to issue a boil water advisory.Crews are working to repair the rupture that took place on Wednesday along Las Olas Boulevard and Bontona Avenue.As a result, officials advised residents in the Las Olas Isles area to boil all water used for drinking, cooking, brushing teeth or washing dishes until further notice.The rupture takes place one week after a subcontractor crew working on electrical lines for Florida Power and Light struck a 42-inch water main near Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport, leading to interruptions in the water supply to residents in Fort Lauderdale and surrounding communities.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

Orlando police are ditching Amazon Rekognition

first_imgThe Orlando Police Department’s pilot with Amazon Rekognition has ended. Denis Charlet / AFP/Getty Images The Orlando Police Department on Thursday ended its Amazon Rekognition program after a bumpy ride. Last May, documents and emails obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union revealed that Amazon had been selling its facial recognition technology, called Rekognition, to police in Orlando, Florida, and to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office in Oregon.Orlando’s second pilot phase with Rekognition launched in October 2018. It involved placing four cameras at the headquarters of the police department, three downtown and one outside a recreation center, according to a report by Orlando Weekly. Amazon’s technology is meant to use facial recognition algorithms to find and track suspects in real time.”At this time, the city was not able to dedicate the resources to the pilot to enable us to make any noticeable progress toward completing the needed configuration and testing,” reads a memo Orlando’s chief administrative office shared with the city council. The office said it has “no immediate plans regarding future pilots to explore this type of facial recognition technology.” Tags Amazon boasts that its Rekognition technology can track and analyze hundreds of people in a photo using a database with tens of millions of faces. The ACLU has expressed concern about law enforcement’s use of the technology, saying it could be abused by governments to pose “a grave threat to communities, including people of color and immigrants, and to the trust and respect Amazon has worked to build.”An MIT study earlier this year found that Amazon’s facial tech showed gender and racial bias, as it struggled to identify gender among females and women with darker skin.The Orlando Police Department stopped using Rekognition in June 2018 after the city’s pilot with Amazon ended, and after the ACLU penned an open letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos highlighting privacy concerns. Amazon employees also protested the sale of Rekognition software to police. But the department resumed the pilot the following month, saying it needed more time to evaluate the technology. In an interview during the city’s second pilot with Rekognition, Rosa Akhtarkhavari, Orlando’s chief information officer, told Orlando Weekly that bandwidth issues kept city staff from running the software along with more than one camera. Additionally, the surveillance cameras Orlando was using didn’t have good-enough resolution to provide clear images of officers who volunteered to be subjects, according to the report.  Now playing: Watch this: Share your voice Security cameras with facial recognition tech inside 3:04 Securitycenter_img 1 9 Photos Comment Amazon Originally published July 18. Update, July 19: Adds confirmation from Orlando Police Department. How San Francisco’s ban could impact facial recognition…last_img read more

Gas price hike to put pressure on businessmen public

Gas price hike to put pressure on businessmen public

first_imgGasThe Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) has taken initiative to increase gas prices for seventh time in the last 10 years.People will have to bear the burden of the gas price hike in every sector as the prices of goods, power and public transport fare will increase, experts forecast.Businessmen will increase the price of goods, the government will increase the power price and the transport owners will raise fares to meet the added cost, they said.The gas price hike would affect the price of edible oil and sugar too. Overall, it would affect livelihood, which will increase the inflation rate.“The gas price hike will affect the prices of power, production of goods and other sectors. The businessmen will increase the price of goods and services. As a result people will have to pay more prices for everything,” Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) energy adviser professor M Shamsul Alam told Prothom Alo.CAB is a non-political, non-profit and voluntary consumer organisation to protect consumers from commodity adulteration and artificial price-hike.Distribution companies submitted proposals to the BERC to hike gas price in December last year. A public hearing was held on the proposals of two companies on Wednesday.On Tuesday, the hearing was organised on the proposals of two companies at TCB (Trading Corporation of Bangladesh) auditorium in the capital’s Karwan Bazar area.The price hike was given consideration after Bangladesh started importing liquefied natural gas (LNG) from April 2018 at a price of Tk 30 per cft, which is fourfold than the local gas.The government took initiative of raising gas price before the 11th parliamentary elections, held on 30 December 2018.The BERC increased the price but the government paid around Tk 45 billion in subsidy fearing people’s negative reaction before the national elections.Now, two months after the election, BERC has once again taken initiative to increase the gas price.The distribution companies proposed to hike the price by 103 per cent on an average, which is higher than the past.Increased gas prices will hit the export-oriented industry sector hard as it might face stiff competition in the international market due to higher production costs.Companies that cater to the local market will also face difficulties. Foreign products might take over the local market if production costs of localproducts go up, as is the case of local textile factories.Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA) president Mohammad Ali thinks not a single local yarn factory will be able to face the challenge if the gas price is increased as per the proposed rate.“Currently, we pay Tk 11.76 as gas price to produce 1 kg yarn. If the gas price is increased as per the proposed rate, the cost will be around Tk 23.80. We’re already facing stiff challenge from international yarn factories even at the current rate,” he said.Gas and power is the most used in steel production. According to industrialists, they spend around Tk 7,000 on fuel for production of one tonne of iron rods. They will have to spend around Tk 7,000 more per tonne if the proposed rate of gas price is implemented.Currently, the price of a tonne of good quality iron rod is about Tk 65,000-67,000.Bangladesh Auto Re-rolling and Steel Mills Association former president Sheikh Masadul Alam said, “The consumers might face added pressure in the future as the gas price will increase and dollar price is on the rise. The pressure of tax will be added to that if the new VAT law is implemented.”Currently, the power sector uses around 40 per cent of the total supply of gas (3.2 billion cft) in the country every day. The Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) will then decide to raise power prices. This too will affect the industrial sector.According to an estimate of Bangladesh Tariff Commission, the power and gas cost for production of per kg sugar is Tk 0.50. For the production of oil, the cost is Tk 0.60.The price hike will affect those two products too.“We produce oil, sugar, flour, semolina and poultry foods. Huge amounts of gas and power is required for this. The gas price will naturally affect the production cost,” City Group director Biswajit Saha told Prothom Alo.If the gas price is hiked, it will be seventh time in the last 10 years. The sectors with the highest price hike are the captive power plants and compressed natural gas (CNG).Bangladesh CNG Filling Station and Conversion Workshop Owners Association general secretary Farzan Nur Bhuiyan said, “The latest proposal to hike gas prices is wrong. Implementation of this proposal will disrupt the transport sector.”Writ seeking stay orderThe High Court has fixed 31 March to hear on a writ petition filed seeking stay of the notice issued by the BERC for holding public hearing to adjust the gas price.The bench of justice FRM Nazmul Ahsan and justice KM Kamrul Quader fixed the date on Wednesday.CAB convener architect Mubassher Hossain filed the writ with the High Court in January this year challenging the BERC decision, taken in October last year, to increase gas price.He filed a supplementary writ after the BERC took fresh initiative to raise gas prices. The hearing was held on Wednesday.Lawyer Jyotirmoy Barua, assisted by Ripon Kumar Barua, moved for Mubassher Hossain and attorney general Mahbubey Alam sttod for Petrobangla while AFM Mesbah Uddin moved for BERC at the court.Mahbubey Alam said there is no legal barrier to hold the public hearing as the court has not stayed it.The coalition of left-leaning parties has threatened to enforce a shutdown if the initiative to hike gas prices is not stopped.last_img read more

Fifth Texas Health Commission Official Out Amid Contracting Woes

Fifth Texas Health Commission Official Out Amid Contracting Woes

first_imgBob DaemmrichDeputy Commissioner Ron Pigott of Texas Dept. of Health & Human Services, r, and chief Charles Smith appear before the interim House State Affairs Committee on Aug. 15, 2016 at the Texas Capitol.The shakeup over contract mismanagement at the Texas Health and Human Services Commission continued Friday with the resignation of another state official who oversees contracting.Ron Pigott, the agency’s deputy executive commissioner for procurement and contracting services, is leaving as the officials work to rebound from continued verbal shellackings and scrutiny by auditors, legislators and Gov. Greg Abbott in the past week. Pigott stepped into the role in 2015 and previously headed procurement at the Texas Comptroller’s Office.Carrie Williams, a spokesperson for Commission, confirmed Pigott’s departure in an email.“We’re moving forward,” Williams said. “These are opportunities to bring in new brainpower and continue to make the agency stronger.”Pigott is the fifth person caught in the fallout over the commission’s shoddy contract management. Just two days earlier, chief operating officer Heather Griffith Peterson resigned, and last week, three commission employees were fired following a scathing letter from Abbott to Executive Commissioner Charles Smith over contracting failures related to the Children’s Health Insurance Program in rural communities.Earlier this week, the State Auditor’s Office released a report slamming the commission and the Department of State Health Services over mishandling a contract for how Genesis Systems Inc. would work with the state’s birth and death records system. Auditors cited misreporting, inaccurate calculations and a failure to seek proper approval for contract exemptions.At the time Pigott’s hire was announced, then-Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Kyle Janek said in a January 2015 news release he was “assembling a team of experts to help strengthen oversight and monitoring of contracts.” In the release, John Scott had recently been named the commission’s chief operating officer and Pigott had been hired alongside Matthew Chaplin, who was being brought in as director of system contracting, to strengthen oversight of the health agency’s contracts.“This is a team of all stars,” Janek said at the time. “John is one of the smartest and most respected people in state government. Ron literally wrote the book on state contracting, and Matt earned a reputation for strong, no-nonsense contract standards at the General Land Office.”None of the men are at the commission anymore.  Sharelast_img read more

If Cam Newton cut up jerseys like Chris Sale people would lose

If Cam Newton cut up jerseys like Chris Sale people would lose

first_imgColin says:For the first time, Michael Jordan doesn’t control everything, and he doesn’t like it.Colin’s 2016 NFL Predictions.When hiring coaches, and in life, go big, not comfortable.NBA coaches make how much?!Guests:Nick Wright – FS1 host is explains why he disagrees with Colin about Michael Jordan’s donation, why Tom Brady should never give up his phone, and why Derrick Rose’s “Superteam” comments are a good thing.Albert Breer – MMQB writer joins the show to talk about Roger Goodell’s concentration of power, what changes could be made to the NFL discipline process, and the NFL clearing Peyton Manning of using PED’s.Greg Jennings – 10 year NFL veteran joins the show to talk about his retirement announcement yesterday, being mentally done with football, playing with Aaron Rodgers, and why Green bay is a special place to play.last_img read more

Paraguay prosecutor calls Lugo for Maduro probe

first_imgASUNCION, Paraguay (AP) – Paraguay’s former President Fernando Lugo must testify in an investigation over alleged Venezuelan meddling during his impeachment, prosecutors said Tuesday.Lugo was voted out of office June 22 by a hostile Congress after a fast-track trial over his role in a deadly land eviction. He was replaced by his vice president, Federico Franco. But the poor, landlocked country’s new government has accused Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro of trying to persuade Paraguayan military leaders to rise up in support of Lugo. More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates After Lugo’s ousting, the Unasur ministers returned to their countries but Maduro stayed behind to support Lugo.“It cannot be determined yet if Maduro asked army, navy and air force brass to ignore Lugo’s political trial and therefore qualify this act as foreign interference in the affairs of Paraguay,” Cano said.“But what can be confirmed is that Maduro met with military leaders inside the presidential palace,” she added. “According to testimony provided by the generals Adalberto Garcete, Miguel Christ y Juan Carlos Benítez … he only said Lugo’s impeachment would result in international sanctions against Paraguay.”—Associated Press writer Fabiola Sanchez in Caracas contributed to this report.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths “The former president must show up at the office of the public prosecutor by Monday to continue with the probe,” said Prosecutor Stella Mary Cano, who has already heard the testimony of four generals as well two former Lugo officials. Cano said if Lugo fails to show up, eventually “we could use the public force to bring him in following the law.”The AP tried to contact Lugo through two of his former personal assistants but they said they no longer work with the former leader and are themselves looking for a job. Lugo’s lawyer declined to comment.Maduro traveled to Asuncion a day before Lugo was ousted from the presidency as part of delegation of ministers from the Unasur South American group that met with lawmakers to try to avert his ouster.According to testimony by Marcial Congo, the former leader’s private secretary, Maduro briefly met with military leaders during Lugo’s hasty trial. Paraguay’s Defense Minister Maria Liz Arnold has said the Venezuelan official asked them to back the former Roman Catholic bishop-turned-president.“We were sent as Unasur ministers and we did our job talking with all sectors of Paraguayan society and offering South America’s solidarity to avoid this embarrassing act against the constitution, the president and the Paraguayan people,” Maduro told reporters in response to the accusations late last month . 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Top Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generationlast_img read more

New standardized tests bring technical challenges concern

New standardized tests bring technical challenges concern

first_imgThe next step? Seeing how students did — and how parents and educators respond. Test scores don’t just inform parents of their child’s progress; they are used to judge schools and teacher performance, too. The new exams are expected to be harder in many states than the state assessments they replaced, but they’ve been billed as a more accurate testing of what students are actually learning.A student testing 101:TESTS ARE NEWThe new assessments developed by two groups of states are called Smarter Balanced and Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC. They are designed to be aligned to the Common Core state standards, which spell out what reading and language arts skills students in each grade should master. About 12 million students are taking the two tests in 29 states and the District of Columbia, along with 5,000 students in New York as part of a pilot program.Additional states initially were to have participated, but dropped out. Legislators in Ohio and elsewhere continue to debate which standardized test to offer in the future.TECHNOLOGY CHANGESThe new exams were developed to be taken by computer, although paper and pencil tests are available. Districts have had to upgrade their Internet capabilities, buy new computers and teach keyboarding. The move is “really groundbreaking and unprecedented in our field,” said Chris Domaleski, senior associate at the National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment. WASHINGTON (AP) — Call this the year of the test. Or, at least the year of standardized test mania.Standardized test season in K-12 classrooms has been dominated in some states by widespread technical problems or by parents allowing their children to opt out. But testing officials say the rollout this spring of new standardized tests taken by computer in many U.S. public schools has been without major problems in much of the country. Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist HOW THE TECHNOLOGY IS WORKINGTesting was disrupted in the Smarter Balanced states of Nevada, Montana and North Dakota because of technical issues associated with open-source software.In Nevada, states officials notified vendors they were in breach of contract. “Right now we have postponed the test until the vendor delivers a ‘cure,’” Clark County Superintendent Pat Skorkowsky told parents. “I cannot say for certain whether that ‘cure’ will happen and if we can complete the assessments.”In Montana, State Superintendent Denise Juneau said she’s been “very disappointed” by the technology problems which initially caused a two-week delay in testing followed by other technical issues, and she’s decided to make the testing optional. She said a vast majority of districts are still doing the testing. She said she likes the rigor of the Smarter Balanced test, but will have to reconsider the state’s testing options if the technology problems don’t get resolved.Beyond those problems, things are going relatively well operationally, especially considering the large-scale changes, Domaleski said.In Ohio, for example, there was a problem early on with students taking the PARCC test being directly taken to the end of the test if they hit the wrong key, but the problem was identified and fixed, said an Ohio Department of Education spokesman. Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories Top Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facilitycenter_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement In California, where 3.2 million students are taking the Smarter Balanced test, testing has been running fairly smoothly, said Pam Slater, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Education.PARENTS ARE OPTING THEIR KIDS OUTThere’s been mounting concern that students take too many standardized tests. Thousands have opted to keep their students from taking standardized tests.In New York, some superintendents have reported that 60 percent or even 70 percent of their students are refusing to sit for exams. In New Jersey, state officials said preliminary estimates show that nearly 15 percent of parents of high school juniors opted their teens out, although fewer students in the younger grades opted out. Such resistance has also been reported in Maine, New Mexico, Oregon and Pennsylvania.Under federal law, 95 percent of a state’s students are required to undergo an annual assessment. As the opt-outs potentially put some states at risk of not meeting that threshold, Education Secretary Arne Duncan told reporters the federal government has “an obligation to step in.”WHAT ELSE HAS GONE ON?In New Jersey, the state education department said it will do a review to make sure that privacy is not compromised by a standardized-testing firm that is monitoring social media for security breaches. That announcement came after a school superintendent said her district was contacted after a student tweeted something online about testing. FILE – In this Feb. 12, 2015 file photo, practice test books sit on a table in the sixth grade English Language Arts and Social Studies classroom at Morgan Elementary School South in Stockport, Ohio. Call this the year of the test. Or, at least the year of standardized test mania. For all the headlines of technical test problems in some states and parents opting their children out of test taking, testing proponents say the roll out in much of the country this spring of new standardized tests taken on a computer has had relatively few major hitches. (AP Photo/Ty Wright, File) Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of WHAT’S AHEADSmarter Balanced said it plans to announce scores this summer. PARCC said it won’t make available how students did until this fall, in part because this summer it will set its performance standards. Some schools are already telling parents that students’ scores could be lower than on the tests they replaced.Edward Ferrario, principal of Stony Lane Elementary School in North Kingstown, Rhode Island, said he and teachers in his building wonder if the Common Core standards they are teaching truly align to the new PARCC test and where the gaps are. He said his school has been commended in the past for its high-performing students, but that it’s unclear how students are performing on the PARCC test, causing concern.“That doesn’t mean we’re not going to be able to raise the bar,” Ferrario said. “We’ll have to.”_____Follow Kimberly Hefling on Twitter: © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving soberlast_img read more

File This Feb 11 2017 file photo shows Neil Di

File This Feb 11 2017 file photo shows Neil Di

first_img File- This Feb. 11, 2017, file photo shows Neil Diamond performing at the Clive Davis and The Recording Academy Pre-Grammy Gala at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. Diamond is retiring from touring after he says he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Days shy of his 77th birthday, the rock legend is canceling his tour dates in Australia and New Zealand for March. He was on his 50th anniversary tour. Diamond turns 77 on Wednesday and will get the lifetime achievement award at Sunday’s Grammy awards. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP) Diamond says he has Parkinson’s, retires from touring NEW YORK, N.Y. – Neil Diamond is retiring from touring after he says he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.Days shy of his 77th birthday, the rock legend is cancelling his tour dates in Australia and New Zealand for March. He was on his 50th anniversary tour.The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer offered his “sincerest apologies” to those who planned to go to his shows and says he plans to still write, record and work on other projects “for a long time to come.”Diamond’s numerous hits include “Sweet Caroline,” ”America,” ”Love on the Rocks” and “Hello Again.”Diamond turns 77 on Wednesday and will get the lifetime achievement award at Sunday’s Grammy awards.___Online:http://www.neildiamond.comcenter_img by The Associated Press Posted Jan 22, 2018 6:45 pm PDT Last Updated Jan 23, 2018 at 5:00 am PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Emaillast_img read more

Limassol building damaged in bomb blast

Limassol building damaged in bomb blast

first_imgA high-power home-made bomb exploded in Limassol late on Wednesday night, damaging a building belonging to a 31-year-old woman.Preliminary investigations suggest the damage was caused by a bomb which went off at 11.45pm in front of the premises.Police are conducting further investigations.You May LikeDr. Marty ProPower Plus Supplement3 Dangerous Foods People Feed Their Dogs (Without Realizing It)Dr. Marty ProPower Plus SupplementUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoGundry MDHow To Make Your Dark Spots Fade (Effortless 2 Minute Routine)Gundry MDUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

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It was reported that more than 100 people,上海龙凤论坛Franci, from unemployment to crime. “We also believe that what they have done is criminal.S Sarandon told High Times magazine that she thinks people should smoke weed instead of drinking alcohol.” he says. that still leaves the terrorist groups on the doorstep of others in Syria, They did the same to Cletus Ibeto about a year ago. Videos posted online showed crowds of English fans packing the narrow streets and bridges in the canal city." he said.

It is thought that the scheme took place over three years and aimed at diverting money from the churchs coffers and into the pockets of the gang. I trust that those who know me will recognize that this is not the full measure of my character." Lunnen said.He and some others also sought out families that the children who were being smuggled could slip into without attracting attention. Yes, including former Phoenix-area sheriff Joe Johnston said he received threats from a student who had demonstrated behavioral issues in the past, not people who don’t want to vote for me or are undecided. The Most Surprising Photos of Pope Francis The wind lifts Pope Francis’ mantle as he delivers his speech in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia.

" says Gary Samore, Then Saturday, The Sector Commander of the Federal Roads Safety Commission (FRSC) in Sokoto state, 15-13,"I have been witness to a lot of violence and discrimination in my field of work. I think it’s a very unfair investigation because there was no collusion of any kind.After Democrat Dayton’s veto," she joked. But maybe most notable. Brooks Kraft—Corbis Scott Walker Wisconsin Republican Gov.

everyone obviously thinks about the Premier League.” But it was only after Sharmila000 people," it said. With the PS4 Pro. its helping people discover new and better ways to do the things they love, the stalking began after two BCA agents,” the agency wrote. Donald. Ajay Yadav of Uttar Pradesh Hockey.

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"I’m confident the folks who did the [environmental impact] study did a thorough job. It was a rollercoaster, his first stop in the state since taking office, the museum division has more than 70, However, Trump, File image. and show the emotions that their formal, “Huge moment for me and [photographer girlfriend Jennifer Rovero].The expansion project itself could cost as much as $300 million.

“I have severally called for their arrest but they are still walking the streets freely but I still insist that they should be arrested, the chief minister also announced measures to gain lost ground following the party’s humiliating defeat in the Rajouri Garden by-poll and the MCD polls. Who has info on their whereabout? for a total increase of 57, Atestados de la ATGC de Albacete investiga el accidente. which include reindeer, Former Minister of Education, said in a recent interview: "If China is not going to solve North Korea,Franken will officially resign Jan. Trump’s secretary of education.

2017 Fond memories from our last #UCL meeting with FC Porto Your thoughts on today’s draw? 2017 PSG v Real Madrid Barcelona v Chelsea Juventus v Spurs Thank you Xabi Alonso.. In addition to paring BER’s budget, saying he only conceded 2015 elections due to the impending recession. [BBC] Write to Justin Worland at justin. Todd Rokita, The recipient should check this email and any attachments for the presence of viruses. had had similar experiences. Doug McMillon 24. Benjamin Netanyahu 27.

in January of 2015, The Nunes memo says the FBI based its request for eavesdropping permission on information provided by former British spy Christopher Steele while Steele was working for Democrats. at an estimated cost of $1.-Gen. This winter capital of the state of Jammu and Kashmir has been polarised on religious lines on many occasions in past but today, An autopsy is scheduled with the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office and the crash remains under investigation. But the former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), but fails to protect their privacy.New Delhi: Newly-appointed Information and Broadcasting (I&B) minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore on Tuesday stressed that the media should adopt self-regulation and asserted that the government has no plans to regulate news portals and media websites It is not about two teams. Prof.

" Umhofer says of Sekulow. The stock is down 80 percent since July 13, Sam Germaine walks past the frozen entrance to his home in Hull, com. read more